Saturday, July 16 ~ Fifteenth Week in the Season of Ordinary Time
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Holy Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50 While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Meditation: God offers to each of us the greatest of relationships – union of heart, mind, and spirit with himself, Jesus Christ, who is the very author and source of love (1 John 4:8,16). God’s love never fails, never forgets, never compromises, never lies, never lets us down nor disappoints us. His love is consistent, unwavering, unconditional, and unstoppable. Nothing can deter him from ever leaving us, ignoring us, or treating us unkindly. He will love us no matter what. It is his nature to love. That is why he created us – to be united with him and to share in his love and unity (1 John 3:1). God is a trinity of persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and a community of love. That is why Jesus challenged his followers and even his own earthly family to recognize that God is the true source of all relationships. God wants all of our relationships to be rooted in his love.
Prayer: May the venerable intercession of the glorious Virgin Mary come to our aid, we pray, O Lord, so that, fortified by her protection, we may reach the mountain which is Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel: O Most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein You are my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech You from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity. There are none that can withstand Your power. O show me herein You are my Mother. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee. (3 times) Sweet Mother, I place this cause in Your hands (mention your request now).
Contemplation: God did not intend for us to be alone, but to be with others. That is why he gives us virtually unlimited opportunities for developing relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Why does Jesus seem to ignore his own relatives when they pressed to see him? His love and respect for his mother and his relatives (and for all people) is unquestionable; we must live accordingly.
About the Memorial to Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel’s faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Carmelite order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God. Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is worldwide, and most Catholics are familiar with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular. Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, and gave him the scapular with the following words, which are preserved in a fourteenth century narrative: ‘”This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.” The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was instituted for the Carmelites in 1332, and extended to the whole Church in 1726.
Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;
prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;
information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.